UPDATE: US 60 drying out, city preparing for repairs

The city of Tempe released a video of the work going on at the water main break affecting US 60. (Courtesy city of Tempe)
The city of Tempe released a video of the work going on at the water main break affecting US 60. (Courtesy city of Tempe)

The city of Tempe released a video of the work going on at the water main break affecting US 60. (Courtesy city of Tempe)

The section of the US 60 at McClintock Drive affected by the water transmission line's break is in the process of drying out, according to a news release from the city. The drying is a crucial step in repair progress, but there is still not yet an estimated timeframe for completion.

Crews identified May 9 the location of the break in the 24-inch city of Tempe water transmission line that runs under the US 60. The break happened over the weekend, leading to temporary freeway flooding and creating the need for the ongoing closure of the freeway between I-10 and Loop 101.

Taking action

According to city officials in a previous news release, Tempe's "highest priority" once the leak was located was to "completely shut off all water all water line valves north and south of the damaged portion of freeway."

While most of the valves were already shut on May 10, there are additional valves south of the freeway that still need to be completely closed to the point of having a water-tight seal.

On May 9, the city brought in temporary water to two additional nonresidential water customers that are anticipated to be affected once further valve shutoffs are completed. Those customers will be informed by the city before this occurs. This is in addition to the two business complexes already using temporary water. No residential water customers are impacted, according to the city.

Location of the water main break

Using a camera fed through the line, crews have identified an approximately 1.5-foot rupture in the steel pipe, according to the city. The break is not under the freeway; it is located at the top of the McClintock Drive westbound off-ramp, between the McClintock Drive overpass and pedestrian bridge. The pipe is about 22 feet down in this location, according to the city.

The city and the Arizona Department of Transportation have not released an estimated time for freeway or water line work to be complete.

The pipe repair is now separate from the freeway repair and reopening since the break is not under the freeway, according to the city, meaning the repairs can happen simultaneously.

Cost estimates for all the repairs are not known at this time, according to the city.

ADOT recommends alternate routes

ADOT is advising the use of the Loop 202-Santan Freeway or Red Mountain Freeway as alternates, according to ADOT.

Eastbound US 60 is closed between the I-10 interchange and McClintock Drive. Westbound US 60 is closed between Loop 101 and McClintock Drive. Drivers are able to use westbound U.S. 60 on-ramps between McClintock Drive and I-10, since those ramps are located west of the water line break. The eastbound US 60 on-ramp at McClintock Drive also is open, although drivers in that area can expect restrictions due to ongoing work, according to ADOT.

Westbound US 60 traffic approaching the closure is being detoured to north- or southbound Loop 101. Drivers who travel north on Loop 101 can then use westbound Loop 202 toward Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport or the downtown Phoenix area. Motorists who use southbound Loop 101 can use westbound Loop 202 in the Chandler area to connect with I-10, according to ADOT.

Drivers on I-10 who normally would use eastbound US 60 should consider using either eastbound Loop 202 to northbound Loop 101 or eastbound Loop 202 to southbound Loop 101 to reach eastbound US 60 beyond the closure, according to ADOT.